/ Cory Doctorow / 5 pm Fri, Sep 25 2015
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  • Dustin Yellin's stupendous, life-sized glass-pane humanoids made from NatGeo clippings

    Dustin Yellin's stupendous, life-sized glass-pane humanoids made from NatGeo clippings

    Earlier this month, I attended a two-day meeting at Pioneer Works, an art and innovation center in Red Hook, Brooklyn. The center is both physically beautiful and filled with interesting people from many disciplines doing work in open workshops. It was founded by sculptor Dustin Yellin, and the lobby has one of his remarkable, life-sized three-dimensional humaniform sculptures, composed of thousands of collaged magazine clippings pressed between many sheets of glass.

    The human figures are part of a series called Psychogeography, and each one contains thousands of painstakingly clipped and collaged images from National Geographic back-issues, augmented with painted elements that span the different layers of glass. The glass is glued together with an adhesive that has the same refractive index as the glass itself, so that there are no visible seams from the front or back -- but when seen from the side or in three-quarter view, the layered elements become vivid and obvious.

    I toured Yellin's studio, which is adjacent to Pioneer Works, and saw dozens of the Psychogeography figures, many of which are destined to be installed on Sunset Boulevard in LA. It's impossible to overstate the impact of these pieces. They are each endlessly detailed, and take on new aspects when viewed at different angles. Seen en masse, they are overwhelming in the very best way.

    Yellin generously provided me with the gallery below, which shows the Psychogeography figures at the New York Ballet in the Lincoln Center. I think you'll agree they're amazing. He told me he's planning to produce enough to replicate the terracotta army, and to arrange them in ranks in the big room at the Tate in London. That's a show I'd fly back to the UK to see.

    NEW YORK CITY BALLET

    Lincoln Center, 2015










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